Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said Thursday that it will withdraw its application to take over some functions of the insurance marketplace created under the 2010 federal health care law now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the law’s nationwide tax subsidies.
The subsidies currently keep health insurance premiums lower for about 382,000 lower-income Pennsylvanians, and the court challenge posed a threat that federal aid to states that were not running their own insurance marketplaces.
“I am extremely pleased with the Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell,” Wolf said in a statement. “As a result of this decision, roughly 382,000 Pennsylvanians will keep their much-needed assistance to help them afford health care.”
Pennsylvania has more people receiving the subsidized insurance plans through a federally-run marketplace than four other states, except for Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia.
As a result, Wolf said, his administration will notify the federal government that it is withdrawing its plan to take over some functions of the insurance marketplace.
“I took steps to protect Pennsylvania’s consumers by putting in place a contingency in the event the Supreme Court ruled people are not eligible for subsidies, but I am pleased to say that we will no longer need to rely on this plan,” Wolf said. “My administration will be notifying the federal government that we will be withdrawing our plan to set up a state based health insurance marketplace in Pennsylvania.”
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated last November that as many as 736,000 Pennsylvanians could be enrolled in subsidized marketplace plans in 2016.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services gave conditional approval to Pennsylvania’s application on June 15, two weeks after the Wolf administration submitted the application.
Under its application, Pennsylvania, like some other states already do, wanted to enlist the federal government to perform some duties, such as eligibility determinations and enrollment through the healthcare.gov website.
Pennsylvania was seeking to regulate the insurance plans, direct consumer outreach and run a consumer call center.
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